2018: It’s time to turn it up.

2017 was an amazing first year here at the Academy of Professional Teachers. 

We’ve accomplished so much, and we are looking forward to expanding even more as we work together to attack 2018.

Happy 2018!

It’s been an amazing first year here at the Academy of Professional Teachers.

We’ve accomplished so much, and we are looking forward to expanding even more as we attack 2018.

At the end of the summer, we released “An End to the Quiet War,” Matt’s book on the current state of education, and what we need to do as teachers to take back our schools.

We held numerous design sprints, and made a ton of progress toward developing our first free product for teachers, the Socratic Oath.

This year, we plan on expanding both our line of products, and our mission.

After talking with so many teachers, from a wide range of schools, we’ve started to notice some trends.  There are people in these buildings that are okay with the status quo.  In teachers, this typically manifests itself in those that are willing to jump through the necessary hoops, without complaint, so that they can go back to their classrooms, close the door, and not be bothered. In administration, we see these same people, whose prerogative is always to avoid anything that may complicate an issue, or require deeper thinking to find the best solution.  

These educators are “Simplifiers.”

Their goal is to be able to make it through that single day with the least amount of incident, and hope to reach the end of their career by finding a way to “live with” what they are doing.  They try to create lessons or units that can be reused year after year, a “perfect” system that will allow them to go on autopilot. In many cases, this is also a defense mechanism for dealing with the seemingly never ending barrage of initiatives and “fixes” brought on by another group.

These educators are “Complicators”

Complicators create more work for everyone else, usually without taking on additional responsibilities, or worrying about the long term consequences of their actions.  They exist in a reactive state, hoping to solve problems for themselves in the most expedient way possible, regardless of the down-river consequences. Creating or designing a flexible framework that may be able to handle these outside forces makes no sense to them, as it solves problems that have not yet become problems, and therefore is a waste of time.  Many aspects of administration lend themselves to this philosophy, but other educators can fall into this as well, Guidance Counsellors, School Social Workers, Fire Marshals and even teachers can fall into this trap, often with the best intentions at heart.

The third group is more rare, and in a seeming paradox, more depressed, disgruntled, or potentially burning out.  These are the teachers that want more for their classrooms, that have higher expectations for both their own practice, but also the running of the school as well.  These teachers look to grow as professionals, and use lesson and unit planning as a way to do things better than they did previously.  These teachers want more for their students, and want them to challenge the status quo: the way that education has happened since its inception.  

These people are “Amplifiers.”

The reason that so many of these types of teachers are leaving, or are becoming hopeless in their mindset, is that they know what should be done in our schools, but are often hampered by those that wish to keep things as they are. Surrounded by Simplifiers and Complicators, the Amplifiers will eventually come to a conclusion, that the system is broken so irrevocably that it is beyond saving.

Fighting against this is our mission.  We are looking for the Amplifiers. We want to elevate the Amplifiers to become the frontline in the battle to save Public Education.

At APT, we have internalized and adopted this as our mantra for the year.

Our goal is to “Amplify.”

This mission statement will sustain us throughout our second year, as we roll out a series of new products, and new opportunities, for teachers that want to challenge themselves, and take charge of their pedagogy.

We hope that you are one of these Amplifiers as well.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to update the blog, as well as increase our presence on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. We will also be sharing our ideas for new products, and reaching out to people to become part of our Design Team.

We are excited to see what this new year holds, and we know that with your help and input, it can be a great one.

Thank you again for your support,

Matt, John, and Craig

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What do you think?

We would love to hear your stories. How have you overcome challenges from the Simplifiers or the Complicators?

What do you think?


Craig is an experienced secondary and special education teacher, coach, blogger, and club advisor. A graduate of Hofstra University in NY, he majored in both History and Secondary Ed, and his graduate studies focused on teaching students with special needs. Currently, he teaches Social Studies in Morristown, NJ.

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